Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Open Road Park closed now on 12th Street

An EV Grieve reader told me that the NYC Department of Education has closed the popular Open Road Park ... the park, adjacent to the East Side Community High School on East 12th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue, is a major space, of course, for skateboarders...

Three skateboarders stood rather glumly outside the fence on the 11th Street entrance last evening. None of them had any idea what was happening with the park...

I'm told the school closed the park on Monday. I reached out to the folks who look after Open Road. Via Facebook, they said, "Sorry, we don't know right now. The school is figuring out next steps."

Meanwhile, I sent an email to the address listed on the flyer. It bounced back, noting that "Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently."


  1. That's too bad. It's a nice park, great part of the area. Hope they reopen it soon, for the skaters and everyone else.

  2. too bad, indeed. always love watching the skaters in there...

  3. Such a great space for the community, such positive experiences for the kids, etc. It must be a misunderstanding of sorts.

  4. I noticed that too this morning. I walk past this park on my way too and from work. It's one of the few places in the city where pre-pubescent kids and grown adults can simultaneously engage in the same activity, as if the skateboard makes everyone the same age. It will be a shame if it's lost.

  5. It's so sad to see a park closed! Hopefully it's re-opened soon!

  6. I live across the street from the park. While its a great place for kids to skate and have fun, there is always a group of kids to ruin it for the rest.

    One time I saw and heard kids from the skate park fighting with a cab driver and tossing glass bottles at his car. I also witnessed fights right outside the park between kids as well.


  7. I live right across from the park on 11th. Great place for skaters. I am sad for them!

  8. I hope that the closing is only temporary. I fully support this neighborhood skating park. Skating is as valid of a sport as baseball, football, and soccer. The kids deserve a space to enjoy skateboarding.

  9. While skateboarding is not a crime it is one of the most pointless, grating activities there is. Maybe I just don't get it. Becuz to me skateboarding is just a lot of tripping, falling and botched "tricks". It always looks more frustrating than fun, and the clatter of stray skateboards tumbling all over the pavement is irritating.

  10. I also hope this is temporary. I enjoy watching the skaters there and it seemed like a great place for them to safely skate.

  11. They also closed the park next to Asser Levy school, between 1st and 2nd, 11th and 12th. There always used to be people playing hoops, soccer, and kids using the jungle gym stuff. For the last few years, it just sits empty (except I guess if the school kids are in there). Pathetic.

  12. Anonymous 11:47 - this is the East Village, they weren't fighting with the cabbie/throwing bottles because of the park. Get a grip.

  13. This sign is up there now.

    Dear Community Members:

    We are very sorry to have to temporarily close the park. East Side Community High School is committed to making this space available to the community and reopening it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in dangerous, disrespectful and illegal behaviors in the park. This includes, but is not limited to, drinking, smoking, fighting, vandalism and excessive littering. This has put our students and community members at risk. We will be working closely with the community and park users to discuss how we can maintain LES Park as a safe public space that serves the community (outside of school and camp hours.) East Side will be holding a public meeting next week to discuss this matter. More details will follow. Please feel free to email with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and patience.


    East Side Community High School

  14. sad to see the park close skating is a great activity even if elders think poorly of it. nice to see people getting healthy playing outdoors instead of getting fat at home behind mac laptops or the t/v. Skateboarders now go to Tompkins square park to skateboard now. This park is known world wide for skateboarding not softball or hockey, but the cops throw us out the park because the police have there own police softball league. they will not even allow skateboarders to watch the police play softball even if they dont skate as per officer Da Silva and police friends who cant fight real crime. Isn't this abuse of power? Discrimination? We "skaters just want to skate and not be bothered and have no where to go...

  15. My apartments crappy concrete patio, which I pay a fortune to rent, backs up to the small field of the skateboarding park. Tuesdays and Thursdays the Park would run afternoon programs for children.

    On those days, the kids were dangerously rowdy. The would climb the wall and throw rocks at me and my dog. My dog is 25lbs., not a really fair fight. Or, some one would throw a ball over for fun. Often the balls would go into the Neptune Dinner's Garden.

    The restaurant put up a wire fence recently. So the kids spent an afternoon seeing who could get a football over that fence and into the restaurants back garden. It hit a couple of patrons. Maybe that's what finally prompted closing it.

    When balls came to my side and they weren't baseballs, I tossed them over, and then I'd get the rocks. (The baseballs I walked over.) When I came around and asked them to stop they cursed me out and, threw rocks. Then I'd have to find the adult supervisor, who is never watching. So Tuesday and Thursdays I just sucked it up and didn't go into the back patio.

    When those kids would climb the wall and sit there throwing things I was angry both at their dangerous behavior and, that no one cared to watch them if they fell. It's over a seven foot drop to concrete onto my side!!! So maybe it closed before a child got hurt.

    Usually the skateboarders threw their trash onto the sidewalks, did their stunts on the sidewalks, and made it impossible to walk, never mind walk a little dog.

    I agree that having the park open is supportive of the neighborhood, and when those things I mentioned weren't happening I loved watching the skateboarders try defying gravity. I'd prefer a teenager skateboarding over being home watching TV, being online, or getting into trouble. If you look at those skaters, they're in relative shape. It's cardio people!!!

    I'd love for the Park to re-open and have better supervision.

    No rock throwing!!! Please!!!

  16. Skateboarding is a good activity for kids and being up-to-no-good is a common activity for kids. Hope the park can re-open so that all kids can enjoy.
    It really does take a village to raise a child - let us all be present and set a good example. Not getting our heads cracked by the little f*ckers in the future is it's own reward.

  17. shouldn't we blame the parents/adults that allow the kids to act this way and don't raise them correctly. Maybe put more responsibility on the parents instead of growing adolescence. Kids will be kids. I go to this park and I have only heard of one rock throwing incident from kids who are in the after school program. Word of advice before you pay extremely high rent do some research on the neighborhood. Find out if there is a school which is typically noisy and congested. Its like if i moved next to a highway and want it to be noise and trouble free.

  18. It's sad that the park is closed, for skateboarders and everyone else. But being a local, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet for now. When it's open it's like living next to a construction site that's never finished. I've also witnessed several incidents involving drugs, alcohol and violence. I hope the park re-opens soon, but with better supervision and clearly posted (and enforced) hours of operation.

  19. I live across the street from this park, and while it may be pleasant for non-residents, I can assure you that the skaters are incompatible with residential living. The gunshot noise of skateboards is nonstop, disrupting pets, children, anyone asleep, anyone wanting peace of mind in their own home, and anyone who works from home. The park used to be a great place for people to play basketball, but now it is dominated by unfriendly hipsters who have kicked out children from the playgrounds and threatened parents for wanting to take their kids to a park, like ya do. Once a group of skaters casually threatened to cut off my dog's tail as I walked by, just keeping my mouth shut. LET'S CUT OFF A DOG'S TAIL: these are not good people. The noise is uncool, the people are awful, and the principal of the school - Mark Federman - has INSTRUCTED the cops not to kick anyone out after dark, which is illegal and a stupidly bad idea. All around, the park has become shady and detracts from the quality of life in the neighborhood. If the cops have the best interest of their community in mind, they won't reopen the gates.

  20. I have lived next to "the park" for 10 years. Since the skaters moved in the park has become an eyesore due to the graffiti, damage to equipment and surface of the playing courts. Worst of all is the racket. It sounds like a pistol range and the ugly makeshift ramps make it worse. I have measured the decibel level from across the street and once you get about ten skaters it hits 60 - 70 Db, which is in violation for a residential neighborhood. A facility like this belongs on the rivers, under the bridges, as many do. Not in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood. This is not the only place to skate in the City, just the most inappropriate one. Yes, we have been to CB3 but they just turn a deaf ear.

  21. it's a tough call.
    there are very few places for teens to hang out and do their thing.
    unfortunately responsibility goes with that freedom and not many of the skaters have any.
    many of the skaters are loud, hostile, and show no respect for the residents who live near the park.
    you could hear them loudly heading to the park at 2am, 4am, whenever. it is hard to be quiet on a skateboard.
    and who will enforce any "rules" if there are any.
    we can't get smokers, forced into the streets because of the no smoking rules to respect the neighbor. what do we expect from these, mostly teens?

  22. Drugs (when people are stating “smoking” it’s not cigarettes), garbage, rock throwing and threats to people and animals. This isn’t something that just happened – these conditions have been going on since the park opened for skateboarding.
    I live near here and I can’t even begin to say how great it is that this park is finally closed. So many times neighbors have informed the school, the community board and the people who are suppose to run this park of everything that has been mentioned in this blog and they did nothing. Is skateboarding so important to this principal that he ignored what is going on and put the children at risk that go to this school or live nearby? I thought schools were supposed to be drug free zones? All you have to do is walk by the park and you can smell what these kids were smoking. Also, you can see the condition of the park, it was a dirty unhealthy environment for kids. What type of teacher/principal would let that continue?
    I don't know who finally got this park closed but I thank them with all my heart. PS: I looked up skateboard parks in NYC – there is one on the River by the Manhattan Bridge – so what is the reason to have a skateboard park at this location?


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